News and Commentary

‘Let’s Have The Vote’: Cotton Throws Down Gauntlet To Bernie, Dem Senators On Israel

“Bernie Sanders is trying to block the U.S. from selling arms to Israel. Let's have the vote. It's time for the Democrats to go on the record.”

   DailyWire.com
Sen. Tom Cotton
Andrew Harnik/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

On Thursday, Arkansas GOP Senator Tom Cotton threw down the gauntlet to Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), as well as other Democratic senators, tweeting, “Bernie Sanders is trying to block the U.S. from selling arms to Israel. Let’s have the vote. It’s time for the Democrats to go on the record.”

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Sanders would introduce a resolution on halting the U.S. sale of $735 million in precision-guided weapons to Israel. “The resolution needs only a simple majority to pass the Senate; but if it were to be vetoed by President Joe Biden, it would need a two-thirds majority in both chambers to take effect,” the Post noted.

“At a moment when U.S.-made bombs are devastating Gaza, and killing women and children, we cannot simply let another huge arms sale go through without even a congressional debate,” Sanders informed the Post. Sanders was following in the footsteps of his close compatriots Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), who joined Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) to introduce a similar resolution on Wednesday in the House.

Last week, Sanders penned a virulent article in The New York Times attacking Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in which he wrote:

We have seen Benjamin Netanyahu’s government work to marginalize and demonize Palestinian citizens of Israel, pursue settlement policies designed to foreclose the possibility of a two-state solution and pass laws that entrench systemic inequality between Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Over more than a decade of his right-wing rule in Israel, Mr. Netanyahu has cultivated an increasingly intolerant and authoritarian type of racist nationalism. … we can no longer be apologists for the right-wing Netanyahu government and its undemocratic and racist behavior.

He concluded by borrowing a mantra from a well-known American left-wing organization: “Palestinian lives matter.”

Also last week, Sanders blamed “right-wing extremists in Jerusalem” for the conflict between Israel and Hamas, “I am extremely concerned by the growing conflict in Israel and Palestine. Once again we are seeing how the irresponsible actions of government-allied right-wing extremists in Jerusalem can escalate quickly into devastating war.”

Mosaic Magazine has noted:

When Sanders wanted to win the Democratic nomination in 2016, he claimed that Israel had killed over 10,000 innocent Palestinians, launched indiscriminate attacks in the Gaza Strip, and shelled hospitals in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. The senator not only inflated the numbers by several orders of magnitude, he even outdid the Hamas spokespersons in creating a false narrative that the IDF was intentionally attacking the civilian population.

Conversely, Cotton fiercely supports the Jewish state. In mid-December 2018, Cotton and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)  introduced a resolution that urged the Senate to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. The resolution stated that the United States would support Israel’s right to defend itself, that it is in the United States’ national security interest to ensure Israel’s security, and that Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights would ensure that the Assad regime “faces diplomatic and geopolitical consequences for the killing of civilians, the ethnic cleansing of Syrian Sunnis, and the use of weapons of mass destruction.”

Cruz and Cotton stated:

Israel’s northern border has become increasingly dangerous in recent weeks with the discovery of Hezbollah’s terror tunnels and Bashar al Assad’s continued efforts to consolidate control of Syria with the assistance of Iranian shock troops. Responding to the threat posed by Iran and its proxies requires ensuring that Israel can defend its territory and its citizens from attacks. To support Israel’s right to self-defense, Washington should take the long overdue step of affirming Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

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